The blue mountains

This is the blog of a 25-year-old bookmark, Hallmark serial number 95 HBM 80-1. Twenty-five years, and I don’t look a day older than one! Alas, I can’t say the same for my Travelling Companion. I spend most of my time inside a book (well, duh) while my TC sees the world. Read all about me and follow my blog posts to share my experiences as bookmark and travelling worm. I’ll keep it meaningful. Like a t-shirt.

Today’s travel notes

Yesterday I was at Katoomba in the Blue Mountains. That’s about two hours’ drive west of Sydney.

How did I feel? Cocooned in magnificence.

In my last blog post, I confessed to being awestruck by Uluru, to the point of wordlessness. The Blue Mountains don’t do that to you. They’re beautiful, dizzying, breathtaking — but somehow cozy too.

Here are some words for the temperate rainforest: dripping; tinkly; enveloping; silvery; soaring.

Words for the precipitous train ride from the top of the gorge down to the forest floor: “Da-da-da-DAAA, da-da-Daaa”. For those philistines who don’t recognise it, that’s the Indiana Jones theme tune. They play it to you as the train sets off.

Words for the cliffs and gorges: floating; misty; dark and handsome; the strong silent type.

The Blue Mountains have something for everyone: ghost trees and ghost stories; misleading road signs and strong coffee; adventurous rides and ankle-turning hikes. You can even abseil off one of the Three Sisters, if she takes your fancy.

A traveller’s gripe

There are NO signs pointing the way to Scenic World, our destination in Katoomba. We went round and round the misty by-ways, asking directions of the locals. Some of the latter looked patiently amused. Others’ expressions implied, “Abandon all hope ye who enter here”.

Eventually we found a sign at the top of a road and turned obediently. It was a very very short road, ending in a t-junction. What now, left or right? Not a hint. We guessed right. If we hadn’t, we would eventually have become just another ghostly collection of voices bouncing off Echo Point.

Travel tip

Don’t be a prisoner of your hair style.

The book I’m in

Season of the Witch, by Natasha Mostert.

The photos

Me looking down on the rain forest canopy:

Me looking down on the rain forest canopy

Me in the rain forest:

Me in the rain forest

Me and a ghost tree:

Me and a Black Wattle

Scenic Railway track plunging into the gorge. Impressive wormhole:

Top of Scenic Railway track

The Scenic Railway train — brother worm emerging from his hole:

Scenic Railway train

Looking out over the rain forest canopy:

Rain forest canopy

In the depths of the rain forest, looking up at the silver shining wet bark of a tall tree:

Silver shining wet bark

Black wattles. I’ve dubbed them ghost trees. Their scientific name is Callicoma serratifolia, and they’re not a wattle at all. That’s the Ozzies for ya. Historical note: The first timbers used for the wattle and daub huts of the early settlers were cut from these trees:

Black wattle

Ghost:

Black wattle ghost

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The red centre

This is the blog of a 25-year-old bookmark, Hallmark serial number 95 HBM 80-1. And this is my very first blog post. Hallo world. I spend most of my time inside a book (well, duh) while my Travelling Companion sees the world. Read all about me and follow my blog posts to share my experiences as bookmark and travelling worm. I promise to get quite philosophical at times, but not unnecessarily so.

Today’s travel notes

I’ve just spent three days in the Red Centre of Australia: Alice Springs, Uluru (Ayers Rock), and Kata Tjuta (the Olgas). I’m tempted to say “awesome”, but that’s an overloaded word. This is a bit sad, actually — my first blog post ever, and I pick a location that leaves me speechless. As you get to know me better, you’ll realise that I’m usually quite garrulous. This time, confronted with Australia’s Red Centre, I’ll just titillate your interest with this one word:

Omphalos

The book I’m in

Eye of the Needle, by Ken Follett.

The photos

Me and Kata Tjuta (the Olgas):

Me and the Olgas

Me and Uluru (Ayers Rock):

Me and Uluru

Me on Uluru:

Me on Uluru

Kata Tjuta (one of the Olgas):

Kata Tjuta (the Olgas)

Uluru (Ayers Rock):

It really is just one single huge lump of rock. Quite different to the Olgas, which tend to come apart at the seams when you get up close and personal. Here are some aspects of the rock — all photos taken within the space of two hours:

Uluru 1

Uluru 2

Uluru 3

Uluru 4

Uluru 5

Uluru 6